Google Finance

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I’ve basically been offline all week.  I’ve been skiing with my family in Sun Valley and most of the posts on the blog this week were written on the plane and pre-scheduled.  That allowed me to take the week off and it was a good break.

So I am catching up on the week that was today and one thing that happened was Google Finance.  I have been a heavy user of Yahoo! Finance for over ten years.  It was and is one of the best things about the web for me.  There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t use Yahoo! Finance at least two or three times.  I know the service like the back of my hand and can get basically any information I need on public compnies with it.

So when I read that Google released a competitive service, I was eager to check it out.  And I did this morning.  You know what? Google Finance is better.  Not a lot better, but better.

First and foremost, as you’d expect, Google nailed the search function.  It’s about time that someone let you type in a company name and get the result you want.  The idea that you have to search for the ticker first and then do a ticker search is so 1980s technology that I could never understand how that lasted so long on the Internet.

Now that Google has shown the world the way to do this, I sure hope Yahoo! and everyone else follows quickly.

Second, I love the fact that blog postings on the company are co-mingled with news and other information.  That is a big deal and its about time someone realized that blogs are breaking news on companies as quickly or more quickly than anyone else.

Apparently the feed support is also great in Google Finance, I haven’t tried it but maybe I will do that later.

Bottom line, I am going to start using both side by side for the next couple months.  I suspect I am going to like Google Finance better.  I hope Yahoo! quickly imitates the best features because its always hard to leave a service that has been so good to me for so long.

I’ve now read most of the posts on this topic and the one that really got me was Jeremy Zawodny’s post on how Yahoo! let finance stagnate. It is so hard for companies to continue to invest in market leading platforms.  The temptation is so strong to invest in new stuff and leave well enough alone.  But in this case, that seems to have been a mistake.  I sure hope Yahoo! can rectify it quickly.